HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Who Done It? Spy GameBuy this film here.
Year: 1956
Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Benny Hill, Belinda Lee, David Kossoff, Garry Marsh, George Margo, Ernest Thesiger, Denis Schaw, Frederick Schiller, Jeremy Hawk, Thorley Walters, Philip Stainton, Warwick Ashton, Stratford Johns, Peter Bull, Nicholas Phipps, Charles Hawtrey, Irene Handl
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hugo Dill (Benny Hill) is a sweeper at the local ice rink where he assists in the shows there, but his heart isn't in his job. What he'd really like to be doing is private detection, like in the mystery magazines and paperbacks he loves to read, and tonight he has a stroke of luck when an employee of one of the magazines arrives with a prize he was won. However, with every silver lining there's a cloud as tonight he also becomes unemployed due to the prize being a bloodhound that chases him up a prop tree, which he ends up being wheeled onto the ice in alongside showgirl Frankie (Belinda Lee): pandemonium ensues.

Not to be confused with the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello film of the same name, one of the last Ealing comedies was the first ever film for its star, future global phenomenon Benny Hill. Hill was best suited to his television sketch comedies, and rarely ventured into cinematic endeavours much less take the leading role, but all told this was a pretty good attempt, at least the equal of say, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise's big screen efforts if not better. It had the benefit of being written by T.E.B. Clarke, Ealing's resident man for comedy, and while this wasn't up there with his masterpiece The Lavender Hill Mob, it wasn't bad either.

One of the film's strengths is a willing cast, full of recognisable faces with some only appearing in bit parts, such as Charles Hawtrey as a frustrated disc jockey or Irene Handl (who would later share the screen with Hill in The Italian Job) putting on her posh voice as a well-to-do housewife. Also of interest is Belinda Lee as Hill's romantic lead Frankie, a talented beauty who was often relegated to decorative roles up until her untimely death in a car crash aged just twenty-five. Here she proves more than a match for the comedian as a super-strong variety performer who thinks her talents will put men off her so tries to hide them.

The plot sees Hugo embroiled with a scheme to smuggle top secret plans on microfilm, headed by Uralians who sound like something out of Star Trek but are actually substitute Soviets led by Zacco (David Kossoff). Hugo takes the offices of a showbiz agent who is moving elsewhere, but mistakenly tries out the job of following another agent, who the thinks is an adulterous husband. He hangs around outside the man's house, and is noticed by the Uralians in the building opposite who after some further misunderstandings hire Hugo to impersonate one of their scientists at a sabotaged demonstration of a weather machine. Mainly this is an excuse to have Hill cause as much mayhem as possible, and while it's ludicrously contrived it's also bright and fun and goes some way to showing Hill to his advantage as his cheeky persona was already well on the way to being perfected here. Music by Philip Green.

[Optimum's Region 2 DVD has no special features, but Hill fans will be happy with seeing this early example of his work.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2941 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Basil Dearden  (1911 - 1971)

Dependable British director who began his film career working on Will Hay comedies like My Learned Friend, then moved onto a range of drama and comedy: a segment of classic horror Dead of Night, important crime film The Blue Lamp, The Smallest Show on Earth, excellent heist story The League of Gentlemen, social issues film Victim, action spectaculars Khartoum and The Assassination Bureau and quirky horror The Man Who Haunted Himself. Sadly, Dearden died in a car crash.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: